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Ranking OSU's football schedule: OU still at the top; Texas A&M also difficult

BY BRANDON CHATMON, Staff Writer, Modified: May 1, 2011 at 7:49 pm •  Published: May 1, 2011

5. at Texas Tech, Nov. 12

Why: Winning in Lubbock is never easy.

The Red Raiders have a full year under Tommy Tuberville and should be better in 2011 after finishing 4-1 in their final five games of 2010.

6. Arizona, Sept. 8

Why: The combination of a veteran quarterback in Nick Foles and a squad looking for revenge after their Alamo Bowl make for a scary proposition for OSU.

But the Cowboys should enter this game with plenty of confidence thanks to the way their defense shut down U of A in the Alamo Bowl.

7. at Iowa State

Why: The prospects of a road game in Ames, Iowa on a Friday night in November aren't very appealing. If there's blowing snow and wintery conditions that could slow OSU's pass happy attack better than any defense did in 2010.

Not to mention the Cyclones have been on the rise under Paul Rhoads with road wins over Nebraska and Texas in the past two seasons. They should not be overlooked.

8. Baylor, Oct. 29

Why: Any team led by Robert Griffin should scare its opponent. Griffin, the Bears' quarterback, is an elite athlete with the game-breaking ability to carry a team. And the date of this game favors Baylor with OSU coming off back-to-back road tilts at Texas and Missouri.

But OSU dominated this matchup in 2010 and has the ability to do it again.

9. at Tulsa, Sept. 17

Why: The Golden Hurricane are a potential trap game as a road game against an in-state foe scheduled between Arizona and Texas A&M. Under new coach Bill Blankenship, Tulsa will be looking to make a statement.

But the Cowboys will have the superior talent and nine days to prepare. Advantage, Pokes.

10. Kansas

Why: This game could be problematic because it is sandwiched between road battles with Texas A&M and Texas.

If the Cowboys overlook KU, they could be in for a tougher game than expected. If not, OSU has a better roster which should lead to a W.

11. Kansas State, Nov. 5

Why: The Wildcats are in rebuilding mode under Bill Snyder and will face a tough task to knock off OSU at Boone Pickens Stadium.

OSU travels to Lubbock after facing K-State so that could play in the Wildcats favor but the Cowboys, who beat KSU without Blackmon in 2010, have to feel good about their chances.

12. Louisiana-Lafayette

Why: There will be plenty of excitement for the 2011 version of the Cowboys to debut so this game appears to be the easiest of the bunch, especially with the Ragin Cajuns' under a new head coach in Mark Hudspeth.